Category: Hormones

What Causes an Increase in Abdominal Fat After Menopause?

profile of a woman with belly fat around her waist against a blue background with question marks

It’s a frustrating problem! The jeans you could easily slip into before menopause are now hard to button. You haven’t gained significant weight, but your waistline has thickened. An increase in abdominal fat after menopause is an issue many women face.

What Causes Unwanted Abdominal Fat?

The key to getting rid of unwanted abdominal fat is understanding what causes it. Let’s look at what causes belly fat to become more of a problem after menopause.

1. Hormonal Changes

Once you enter menopause, your ovaries produce less estrogen. This leads to a redistribution of where your body stores fat. You’re less likely to send those extra pounds to your hips and thighs, and more of it ends up around your abdomen and waist. 

Hormonal changes invoking decreased testosterone production also cause a drop in lean body mass and an increase in abdominal fat. As a result, you carry more abdominal fat even if you don’t gain a large amount of weight. A thickening waistline is a marker of too much visceral fat – the type that increases the risk of health problems like cardiovascular disease.

2. Stress

Stress has a major effect on the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that stores fat around your middle and causes you to crave high-sugar, high-carb versions of comfort foods, such as chocolate cake and french fries.

There are a number of stressors that surround menopause, like hot flashes and problems sleeping, which can contribute to an expanding waistline.

One study discovered that individuals who slept seven hours or less each night tended to have a higher average body mass index and were at a greater risk of developing obesity compared to those who got more sleep. One reason is that lack of sleep causes an increase in ghrelin, which is a hormone that makes you hungry, and a decrease in leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full.

It’s important to have ways to manage stress at every stage in life, and that includes menopause. Some stress reduction tactics that help many people include:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Nature walks
  • Writing in a journal
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Prayer

3. A Sedentary Lifestyle

Most people slow down a bit during mid-life. Exercise is one of the best weapons against metabolic syndrome and a sedentary lifestyle. Getting active helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and reduce the production of stress hormones.

The best exercise prescription is a combination that boosts your heart rate and strength training. Higher-intensity exercise has the edge when it comes to reducing belly fat.

4. Poor Dietary Choices

Treating belly fat after menopause requires taking a closer look at what you’re eating. If your diet is mostly processed and includes foods high in sugar, you’re creating an environment that promotes belly fat.

How can you turn your diet around? Start by making small changes:

  • Substitute refined carbohydrates and ultra-processed foods with high-quality sources of protein and more non-starchy vegetables. This helps tame your body’s insulin response so you’ll store less fat around your midline. 
  • Consume more protein to reduce hunger and sugar cravings.
  • Add more fiber to your diet to slow how quickly you absorb carbohydrates. This change reduces the amount of insulin your pancreas must produce. 

It’s Not Impossible to Lose Belly Fat After Menopause!

You can’t control the hormonal changes that cause belly fat but you can make changes to your lifestyle. Implementing habits like managing stress, exercising regularly, and eating a whole-food diet are all beneficial for keeping belly fat in check! If you want to take it one step further, look into Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. It’s your secret weapon against belly fat!

Want to learn more? Join me Live on Facebook every month and check out our YouTube channel for the replays!

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4 Tips for Men with Low Testosterone

Man sitting on bed looking contemplative

Low testosterone (low t) is one of the most common health conditions that men will experience with age. In fact, about 1 in 4 men over 30 show signs of low testosterone, and many are too embarrassed to address it.

Like many other conditions, hormone fluctuation typically grows more severe over time. Recognizing symptoms of low testosterone and dealing with hormone fluctuations early is important. This can alleviate much of the discomfort associated with the condition.

Understanding Low Testosterone and Its Impact

The first step to overcoming low testosterone in men is understanding what the disorder means. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. When its levels fluctuate, other hormones in the body become out of balance.

Treatment for low testosterone differs based on its cause, of which there are two. For some men, it develops as a result of age. Hormone fluctuations are a common occurrence for both men and women in middle age. For others, low testosterone is a result of hypogonadism. This is a medical condition where the body can’t create normal levels of testosterone. Hypogonadism can occur at any age, and is commonly associated with obesity. If you have a belly, chances are your testosterone is affected by your weight.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

Whether low testosterone is caused by age or hypogonadism, the symptoms are often identical:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Poor exercise tolerance
  • Decreased strength
  • Brain fog and memory issues

At face value, having low testosterone levels is not desirable. But what are the real downsides to low testosterone? It decreases sex drive, body strength, and muscle mass. It also causes low energy levels, slow hair growth, and potential infertility. Low testosterone can lead to further health issues like heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Testosterone is incredibly important for brain health.  Diseases like Parkinsons, MS, Alzheimer’s disease, Lyme Disease, and TBIs have all been significantly improved with Testosterone therapy. 

Needless to say, low testosterone should not go untreated. The most successful way of dealing with low testosterone in men is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) or more specifically, testosterone replacement therapy. Fortunately, there are also a variety of natural methods for increasing your testosterone levels that might help your symptoms. Let’s get into it!

How To Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels in Men

Lifestyle adjustments can have a major impact on people with low testosterone. Reducing caffeine consumption, improving sleep, losing weight, and changing your diet can help tremendously. Here’s exactly how you can implement these changes and why they’ll improve your testosterone levels.

1. Control Your Caffeine Intake

Though not conclusive, studies have shown significant inverse relationships between caffeine and testosterone. This could be linked to caffeine’s effect on the endocrine system. The endocrine system handles hormone production. It produces testosterone through the testes gland. When consumed in excess, caffeine can change your hormone levels. Thus a connection between caffeine and low testosterone is plausible.

Does this mean you have to give up caffeine altogether? Not at all. But if you are struggling with low T, limiting caffeine intake to 1-2 cups of coffee a day may be a productive choice for you.

2. Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Sleep disorders can cause a reduction in testosterone levels. That’s because most testosterone is released at night. So a lack of sleep may interfere with testosterone production. Circadian rhythm disruption, sleep quality, and breathing patterns can also affect testosterone levels.

Getting more sleep and improving sleep quality may help with low T. It also has various other health benefits. Make it a goal to clock in more hours each night. This may be challenging for those with sleep apnea or similar disorders. So if you struggle to fall asleep, this should be an incentive to seek further solutions.

3. Lose Weight

Low testosterone is commonly associated with insulin resistance, a condition overweight people often develop. This leads to health problems like diabetes. If you struggle with obesity and low T, losing weight can be a solution for both.

Losing weight through an improved diet and exercise is a good place to start. But when necessary, testosterone therapy is a great option. Testosterone therapy is shown to increase weight loss. That’s because testosterone helps you increase muscle mass, which leads to improved metabolism. Testosterone not only gives you the energy to exercise, but boosts the number of calories you’re able to burn while you exercise.

4. Eat a Balanced Diet

There are many diets out there to help with weight loss, but as we say in the weight loss world, the diet that works the best is the one that you can stick to! Whether you choose to decrease your calories and carbohydrates or increase your fasting time, there is a weight loss plan that suits your lifestyle. However you cut it, losing weight correlates with improved testosterone levels every time.

Boosting vitamin D intake and eating lean proteins and plant-based foods is a good start. Seek out foods like salmon, mushrooms, and eggs. Cutting back on carbs, dairy, and alcohol may also help. Just remember to keep your diet balanced and full of healthy nutrients. This can make you feel more energetic and motivated to work out—all things that help with low T.

Boost Your Testosterone, Transform Your Well-being

Consuming less caffeine, getting more sleep, losing weight, and improving your diet are great methods for fighting off low T. These healthy habits not only increase testosterone, but also improve your quality of life. The above suggestions can work even better when combined with ongoing therapy where testosterone levels are restored with plant-based hormone replacement therapy. Talk to your hormone replacement doctor for more information about the best treatment options for dealing with low testosterone.

Want to learn more? Join me Live on Facebook every month and check out our YouTube channel for the replays!

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The Promise of Bioidentical Hormones: Myths Busted, Questions Answered

Image of woman looking into the sun.

Fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, loss of strength, depression, and sexual dysfunction are all issues that can be alleviated with bioidentical hormones. At Medical Weight Loss of New York, we have provided bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for over nine years. We introduced this service after recognizing the need for a space specifically designed to enhance sleep quality and overall well-being, alongside aiding in weight loss. Bioidentical hormones can significantly transform your daily life and how you feel. In fact, many people start seeing improvements in as little as a week.

While some fear that hormone therapy might cause serious issues like heart attacks, strokes, or cancer, in reality, bioidentical hormones are designed to mimic those our bodies naturally produce. A common question is, “What are bioidentical hormones made from?” The bioidentical hormone therapy pellets we use are derived from yams, which contain sterols essential for synthesizing estrogen and testosterone. That is the ONLY ingredient, with the exception of Steric Acid that holds the pellets together. These small, Tic Tac-sized pellets are inserted under the skin via a minor incision that doesn’t even need stitches. They remain there for three to five months for women, and 6-8 months for men, providing a steady release that brings you back to the hormone levels you had in your early twenties. Let’s explore the benefits of bioidentical hormones and clear up some common misconceptions people have about them. 

What Are the Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones?

Now that you know what bioidentical hormones are made from, let’s discuss the perks for both men and women. For both sexes, they provide a boost in energy, sleep, and overall mood. You’ll also experience sharper thinking, improved memory and focus, better sexual performance, and a boost in your exercise tolerance. 

If you’re a man struggling with weight gain, weakened muscles, disappointing workouts, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, or trouble achieving orgasms, it might be due to low testosterone. Using bioidentical hormones can really turn these issues around and help you get back on track with your life. 

Women often struggle with unwanted belly weight gain during menopause, mainly due to decreasing testosterone levels, which are crucial for metabolism. Bioidentical testosterone treatments can address this as well as a variety of other hormonal issues that women experience. If menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats persist despite the testosterone, adding a bit of estrogen typically clears them up in a couple of days. Estrogen also helps with migraines, osteopenia, or osteoporosis, incontinence, and a more youthful appearance by plumping and tightening the skin. 

How Is BHRT Treatment Given?

First, we numb the skin with a bit of lidocaine, then make a tiny incision to slip the pellet under the skin. This process only takes two to five minutes, and you won’t feel a thing. We seal it up with steri-strips, and after a couple of days, you’re free to do any activity you like. Your hormone levels will stay steady for the entire three to five months and you’ll feel amazing.

Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Safe?

I can confidently say that bioidentical hormone therapy is very, very safe. We mainly use testosterone, an inherently safe hormone, and plant-based estrogen that’s identical to what your body naturally produces. Bioidentical hormone therapy is tailored to you, based on your blood work, hormone levels, and weight. After your first hormone treatment, we ask you to return at the four-week mark to check your bloodwork. Then, we typically see you again at six weeks to discuss your response, and add a booster if needed to achieve optimum results.

Can BHRT Help With Anxiety and Depression?

Estrogen has properties similar to serotonin, a key neurotransmitter influencing mood and sleep. When estrogen or testosterone levels drop, so does serotonin. Boosting these hormone levels can in turn elevate serotonin, helping to reduce anxiety and depression. 

It’s important to note that if you have a strong family history of these conditions or experienced them before hormonal changes, hormone therapy might not completely resolve your symptoms. But for women going through menopause or men with low testosterone, hormone therapy can significantly help with anxiety and depression, and overall mood improvement.

When you first start with bioidentical hormone therapy pellets, you’ll likely build muscle, and with that comes some water weight gain. In our practice, we tackle this by giving you a diuretic to nip that water weight in the bud. Fortunately, more muscle mass boosts your metabolism. So, in your follow-up visits, we often see fat loss and more muscle gain, leading to overall weight loss. Bioidentical hormones are a great addition to any weight loss plan!

At What Age Should You Start Bioidentical Hormones?

For men, if you begin taking bioidentical hormones while your testes are still producing enough testosterone, it can disrupt sperm production and reduce the natural testosterone your body makes. That’s why we generally recommend men wait until they’re 35-40 and have finished family planning to start treatments. 

For women, testosterone can start to drop in your mid to late 30s.  A key sign is decreased libido and the beginning of belly weight gain. If this happens, it’s probably due to dropping testosterone levels. This hormone is key for maintaining muscle, which in turn keeps your metabolism up. So, a decline in testosterone means your metabolism slows down too. Starting testosterone replacement early can make a huge difference in how you feel, and the risks are almost negligible.

6 Myths About Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are often misunderstood, leading to misconceptions about their effects on both men and women. From the idea that testosterone is only for men, to concerns about heart health and cancer risks, there’s a lot to unpack. Let’s address these myths head-on, providing clarity on its role in managing hormonal imbalances and overall health.

  1. Testosterone Is a Male Hormone Only. Testosterone is equally important for men and women. In fact, testosterone is our dominant hormone.  A healthy 20-year-old woman has 6 to 10 times more testosterone than they do estrogen. 
  1. Testosterone Causes Prostate Cancer. Low testosterone can triple the risk of prostate cancer. It’s often the increased estrogen in men with low T that leads to this risk. Replacing testosterone in men can actually help prevent prostate cancer.
  1. Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women Only Involves Estrogen. We frequently use bioidentical testosterone for females. When administered, 85% of women naturally convert a portion of testosterone into estrogen through a process called aromatization. This is often sufficient to address estrogen-related symptoms.
  1. Testosterone Is Dangerous for the Heart. Testosterone is beneficial for heart health. It boosts nitrous oxide, reduces bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and can even help reverse diabetes, improve Lyme disease symptoms, reverse alzheimer’s disease and dramatically improve TBIs, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and overall brain health. 
  1. Hormone Replacement Therapy Increases Breast Cancer Risk. This is one of the greatest lies out there. Testosterone by itself is used to treat metastatic breast cancer. Studies using Bioidentical Hormone therapy using Estrogen with Testosterone showed a dramatic REDUCTION in breast cancer rates over the general population. This is because when our ovaries secrete estrogen, they also secrete the protective hormones testosterone and progesterone. By providing hormone replacement therapy that ais exactly the same as our innate production and in conjunction with other protective hormones (not just estrogen), the risk of estrogen related cancers drops significantly. 
  1. Estrogen in Bioidentical Hormones Causes Blood Clots. Estrogen only increases blood clot risk if it’s given in an oral form. If you use estrogen in a patch or pellet form, it bypasses the liver and does not increase your risk of blood clots.

Embracing Bioidentical Hormones: A Solution for Aging and Hormonal Imbalances

Aging is inevitable: women face menopause, men encounter andropause, and for men carrying extra weight, it can come even sooner. With age, hormonal imbalances often follow, bringing with them challenges like hot flashes, muscle weakness, mood changes, and sexual dysfunction. Bioidentical hormones offer a safe and effective solution for these imbalances. I strongly encourage you to get your hands on some form of bioidentical hormone therapy – it’s a game-changer that can pave the way for a more balanced journey ahead, and a greatly improved overall quality of life!

Want to learn more? Join me Live on Facebook every month and check out our YouTube channel for the replays!

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Struggling with Hormonal Imbalance? Try These 5 Ideas

Exhausted woman lying on floor next to weights.

Hormone imbalances usually arise from a combination of factors. These include blood sugar and weight problems, stress, and high body fat levels. Making a few simple changes to your lifestyle can help balance your hormones and take you a long way on the road to better health.

1. See if Intermittent Fasting Works for You

With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time window each day. Usually, you fast for sixteen hours a day and only eat two meals during an eight-hour window. Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and regulate blood glucose levels. You end up with manageable body weight, better blood sugar levels, and improved hormonal balance.

2. Try High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can be an excellent way of stabilizing insulin levels in your body. HIIT can make your muscles crave glucose. This helps regulate your body’s level of insulin and helps address insulin resistance. HIIT is easy to do. Typically, you would try something like alternating brisk walking with jogging. Such exercise can make your body’s receptors insulin-sensitive, rather than insulin-resistant. It can also regulate your blood sugar levels.

3. Move as Much as You Can

The bottom line for addressing hormonal imbalances and enhancing your body’s ability to cope with them is to become more active. Studies have indicated that regular exercise lowers the body’s levels of estrogen. Getting active as often as possible also helps your endocrine system. That’s because exercise empowers the body’s muscular system to work in close communication with the glands of the endocrine system.

4. Lower Your Intake of Carbohydrates

Combining low-carb diets, such as the paleo or ketogenic diet, with intermittent fasting keeps you from snacking. It also helps regulate your body’s insulin secretion. All you have to do is eat within your non-fasting window and make sure you don’t have too many refined carbohydrates or sweets. Your body only needs high-quality carbs such as quinoa and sweet potato. When you also add lots of vegetables to your diet, you can help regulate your body’s insulin levels for better hormonal health.

5. Get All the Right Nutrients

Hormones and neurotransmitters control how you feel. Your mood is especially governed by hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps you relax. The production of these substances requires a reliable supply of amino acids. The body needs a diet of foods like turkey, nuts, seeds, and eggs to be able to produce the right hormones. A good diet thus directly affects how you feel.

Nurturing a Healthy Hormone Balance

Maintaining good hormonal health can be complicated. Prioritizing the right kind of nutrition, incorporating intermittent fasting, reducing carbohydrate intake, and engaging in regular exercise can simplify it. If you do this, you’ll find that your hormonal problems become much more manageable.

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When Menopause is Too Hot to Handle

woman experiencing hot flash on couch

If you’re a woman going through menopause, you’d probably love to know how to stop hot flashes. After all, it’s by far the most reported symptom of menopause and perimenopause. More than two-thirds of American women experience hot flashes during this stage of life.

Hot flashes can develop at any point of the day, but they are particularly common and bothersome at night. A treatment called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. But there are also many simple lifestyle changes that can provide you with a solution.

Why So Hot?

Hot flashes are sudden and temporary surges of heat. They can cause unpleasant symptoms like flushed skin and sweating. They are also known as hot flushes and can be embarrassing if they lead to excessive sweating and body odor. This sudden rush of heat occurs when the blood vessels under the skin begin to dilate in an effort to cool down. The skin then reddens and the body produces extra fluids to lower the body’s temperature. Some women also experience chills or feel their heart start to beat fast. Generally, the entire sensation doesn’t last for more than a few moments.

The Science Behind Hot Flashes

As our bodies age, hormone production declines. Drops in testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone levels cause us to feel less energized and less youthful. This hormonal imbalance produces many of the symptoms we associate with aging.

Anti-aging therapy can help combat hormone imbalances. This process uses bioidentical hormones to restore hormone levels to their previous stages. It’s better than generalized synthetic hormones because of its resemblance to the hormones it replaces. The molecular structure of bioidentical hormones are identical to the ones your body has stopped producing. Your body’s ability to accept these hormones as their own increases the effectiveness of anti-aging therapy. One of the most convenient ways to administer biodentical hormones is by taking long-acting BHRT pellets.

How To Manage Your Hot Flashes

Though hormone replacement is effective, there are also non-medical ways to aid an imbalance. Here are a few natural methods for preventing hot flashes:

  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Manage stress through mindfulness practices
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Stay in cool environments

Nonetheless, hot flashes are nothing to be scared of. While frustrating, they are not dangerous and panicking can only make it worse. Do your best to stay calm during a hot flash and assure yourself that the experience will pass. Fortunately, most women experience fewer hot flashes as they progress through menopause.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause: Is It Right For You?

women sitting in distress drinking coffee and holding head

Many women dread menopause. Maybe you’ve been told horror stories about hot flashes, night sweats, migraines and loss of libido. Your mother or sister or friends have warned you that it might go on for years and years. Menopause starts to sound awful, so you begin to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT). But then you read that HRT will give you cancer, or that you’ll be given artificial hormones instead of natural ones. What should you do? Of course, the decision is yours, but here are some facts to help you make up your mind.

Menopause is Different for Everyone

Menopause is different for every woman. Especially perimenopause or the time leading up to and following on from your final period. It’s a natural process, not an illness. Some women sail through midlife with hardly any issues. Some women have mild symptoms for a short time. Some have distressing symptoms, but there’s no way to predict how bad they’ll be or how long they’ll last. So until symptoms actually occur, there’s no point worrying about it.

Stress Will Make Menopausal Symptoms Worse

Menopausal symptoms such as headaches or low sex drive are made worse by tiredness or anxiety. These symptoms can occur at the time in life when many women are getting nearer the top of the career ladder, dealing with teenage children or possibly caring for elderly parents. These events can have an impact on increasing stress levels. Exercise, meditation, a healthy diet and perhaps some therapy can be as beneficial as taking hormone replacements.

The Safety of Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT was widely prescribed from the 1960s and 70s. In the 2000s, studies reported that women using HRT were more likely to develop breast cancer and heart disease. Media coverage suggested that women had a choice between experiencing distressing menopausal symptoms or risking a painful early death.
 
In the past few years, follow-up studies have found that although there are some risks, death rates among women who took HRT are not significantly higher than among those who didn’t. To put it into context, being overweight is 4 times more likely to be associated with developing breast cancer than using HRT.
 
Because there are still risks involved, you shouldn’t start HRT if you have a history of breast, ovarian or womb cancer. Other risks include untreated high blood pressure, history of blood clots, and liver disease. If your doctor decides that HRT isn’t suitable for you, ask about alternative treatments.

How is HRT Administered?

There are lots of ways to take HRT medicines. You can take pills (like the contraceptive pill), use creams or patches, pessaries or have a slow-release implant. What these all have in common is that they contain hormones to replace the ones your body no longer produces. These hormones, like all approved medicines, are produced in laboratories with strict quality control measures.

Starting Hormone Replacement Therapy

When you start HRT, your doctor will put you on a low dose and will only increase it if your symptoms don’t improve in the first few months. You should expect it to take at least 3 months, and possibly up to 1 year, to find the dosage and delivery method that’s right for you.
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How Does Your Body Change with Age?

a couple walking and smiling at each other

People experience many changes as they grow older. Eventually every part of the body is altered in some way. While these age-related changes are inevitable, you do have a fair amount of control over the speed at which they occur. By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can put the brakes on changes linked to aging, helping you stay fit and strong well into your later years. 

Let’s take a look at the common ways your body changes as you age and how you CAN do something about it! 

1. Body Fat Increases

As people age, their body fat tends to increase and their muscle mass tends to decrease. These changes in body composition start around age 30 and often pick up speed after age 40.  

Shifting hormones play an important role in these changes. Testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in women start to wane as the years pass, making it harder to retain muscle mass and easier to accumulate fat. Metabolism begins a slow decline as early as age 25, contributing to the changes many people start noticing in their 40s. 

Body composition is an area where your lifestyle can make a big difference. A healthy, balanced diet in addition to regular exercise can help you avoid fat gain and keep your muscles strong. 

To get the most benefit: 

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week
  • Minimize sugar intake
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fat, protein, and carbohydrates

2. Bones Lose Density

Bones lose density with age, and this density loss can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to weaken and become more likely to break. Bone density loss often speeds up in women after menopause because the body produces less estrogen, a hormone that protects bone mass. As you grow older, your body doesn’t absorb calcium as well and your levels of vitamin D decrease. Combined, these two factors lead to a reduction in bone density in both men and women.

To minimize bone density loss: 

  • Maintain a healthy diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D
  • Try strength training exercises 3-4 times a week to make your bones stronger and help prevent falls

3. Plaque Starts to Form in Your Arteries

As you age, cholesterol causes plaque to build up in your arteries, resulting in reduced blood flow. When blood can’t flow freely, your risk of heart attack increases. If you smoke or eat a poor diet, your blood vessels may weaken, allowing plaque to get in and further corrode your arteries.

Diet and exercise can slow plaque build-up. It’s hard to get rid of plaque once you have it, so the earlier you start getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, the better. Foods that help you fight plaque include asparagus, wild-caught salmon, and avocado.

It’s Not All Downhill 

Not all age-related changes are negative. Studies have shown that people tend to get happier during old age. While people report high levels of happiness at age 18, they begin reporting lower levels in their early 20s. Happiness appears to bottom out around age 50. However, after age 50, happiness begins to rebound. In fact, people in their 80s report feeling more satisfied with themselves than people in their late teens.

Growing older can be uncomfortable, but learning about the changes taking place in your body can alleviate much of the anxiety surrounding the aging process. Lifestyle is important when it comes to slowing age-related changes, so don’t wait to adjust your routine. You can start making lifestyle changes right now to living a long, happy and healthy life. 

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Balancing Hormones to Help Your Weight Loss Efforts

woman relaxing in a chair smiling

Poor balance of vital hormones such as the thyroid, insulin, cortisol and testosterone chemical messengers, can affect your weight loss journey.   If your weight loss efforts don’t seem as effective as you would like, it’s possible that your hormones are to blame. Here are some tips on how to get your hormones into weight loss mode so that they help rather than get in the way.

Keep Your Thyroid Gland Healthy

A healthy thyroid is crucial for effective weight loss. You can keep your thyroid in good shape with some simple nutritional habits.

Studies show that 1 in 3 people around the world are deficient in iodine. Poor supply of iron, selenium, and zinc affect many people as well. These deficiencies can cause hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder when the thyroid gland underperforms. It slows down your metabolism and makes it harder for you to lose weight.

Keep your diet rich in seafood, dairy, and soy, to ensure that you get enough iodine. Poultry and eggs are rich in zinc, while beans and cereals give you plenty of iron. If your diet falls short in any of these areas, it could be why you are having a hard time losing weight. Improving your diet or taking supplements can help.

Watch Out For Stress

A certain amount of stress can focus the mind. Excessive, chronic stress, however, can cause insulin resistance and weight problems.

Stress also causes secretion of a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps with the fight-or-flight instinct and can be good for short-term alertness. Over time though, it can slow down digestion and disrupt the metabolism.

If you experience stress for reasons such as financial problems, professional concerns, or toxic people in your life, these stressors can have an effect on your weight loss efforts. It can be hard for you to lose weight if you don’t directly address your stress.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Active relaxation techniques are activities that help you stop worrying. Some relaxation techniques include deep breathing, a hot bath a massage or meditation.

Meditation can be the mindfulness of mentally living in the moment, or it can mean allowing your mind to deeply concentrate on work. Learning meditation techniques can help you relax, improve your hormonal health and ultimately affect your weight loss efforts.

Eat Healthy

A balanced diet that is high in fiber, healthy proteins and fats can help your metabolism and your body’s hormonal balance. Regulating the amount of alcohol you consume can help as well.

It’s important to understand that weight loss is a lifestyle, not just a short-term activity. You begin to lose weight when you bring healthy change to every part of your life, including your body’s hormonal balance

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